VanDyke Goes on Safari at the Beardsley Zoo
This set of photos was inspired by “A Sparkling Toast to the Dog Days of Summer” June 21st 2005 CoolTea MixedBrew event hosted on the 17th floor a top of the Marriott hotel in Stamford CT at Vuli’s restaurant.
During this time period, CoolTea’s Chuck and Katie Scott had been foster parents for a guide dog in training, VanDyke, from Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Inc., headquartered in Yorktown Heights NY.
Part of the then foster dog program included a puppy swap with corresponding foster parents serving time behind bars. The prison dogs are very respective of structure but traffic, little people and other animals are not so common behind bars hence the periodic puppy swaps.
Two days before VanDyke was to start his three week prison term, we had the opportunity to take VanDyke on a tour of Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo and experience an evening patio Asado (Argentinean bar-b-q for the Gods) at Barcelona Fairfield.
Needless to say, it was hot, lots of work (e.g., “Sit! Don’t pull. Sit! Down! Off! Good Boy!”) but way worth it.
BIG thanks to Beardsley Zoo friends, especially Tracy Benhman and Don Goff, as well as the staff at Barcelona Fairfield – muchisimas gracias!
Gallery of VanDyke at the Zoo
Below are photos of VanDyke, at the time a six month old toasted marshmallow male lab from Guiding Eyes, who was granted permission to visit Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo and later enjoy an evening pre-prison celebration on the patio of Barcelona Fairfield restaurant.
As you will see in the corresponding 56 pictures, VanDyke made many new friends with both critters and people at both venues – enjoy!
About VanDyke – Woof!
Since these photos and his Beardsley Zoo Safari Sniff, VanDyke went on to graduate and has been a working guide in the Boston area for almost six years.
Chuck has raised six guide dog pups, two of them with Katie as a married couple – VanDyke was their first raised together.
Note the main goal of puppy raisers is to teach the dogs basic commands, manners, socialization and expose them to as many people places and things as possible.
This way when the dogs go on to graduate as guides, they can sniff et al., with a been there, done that – Woof On!
There is also a video of VanDyke’s First Swim which you can see here – the video is when he was nine months old vs these six month old zoo pics.